The champions are down in ninth in the Premier League and are nine points behind Everton who occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot.
David Moyes is still adapting to life in Sir Alex Ferguson's place as manager and he goes into Sunday's game with Aston Villa under pressure.
For Rooney, though, the players need to do their bit.
"We all have to step up," he said. "It hasn't been good enough of late and we all have to come forward and show why we were champions last year and do better. We have a good run of games now and hopefully we can do that."
Rooney has been in fine form, leading the line superbly but he considers himself as much to blame as everyone else.
"It's not about me, it's about the team. If the team isn't doing well then my form is not important - we have to do well as a team and roll our sleeves up and really pull ourselves together," he added.
"It's not nice (the table). We are all proud players and it's not nice being there. It hurts. Hopefully there will be a reaction."
Watch Manchester United take on Aston Villa live on Sky Sports 1, with coverage from 12.30, kick-off at 1.30pm
As a Liverpool fan I am loving the current run of form that Man Utd are on... I'd be almost as happy to see them into next seasons Europa League as if Liverpool were to finish as champions, well not quite but I digress. Far beit from me to offer Man Utd good advice, but in my humble opinion, the best thing Moyes could do, for the team and for Rooney's future, would be to make the lad captain. Captaincy makes or breaks the best players, Gerrard was enhanced and improved by the responsibility, as we've seen with The national side. Beckham's best in an England shirt came after he was given that responsibility also, would Rooney finally be that little bit less likely to elbow someone and be more consistent with the armband? Personally I think he'd go to another level.- titanous